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  #6401  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2017, 3:04 PM
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The process is beginning for widening of A-50 from Buckingham towards Thurso. A 7km section will be twinned. It's a start.
http://www.lapresse.ca/le-droit/poli...t-de-la-50.php

From personal experience, the section most in need of twinning is the portion from Mirabel to Lachute.
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  #6402  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2017, 7:29 PM
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From personal experience, the section most in need of twinning is the portion from Mirabel to Lachute.
100% agree
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  #6403  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2017, 8:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Taeolas View Post
So for Canada Day, I drove to Ottawa, and decided to take the North shore route instead of the usual TCH route through Quebec.

That meant taking the A-50 from Montreal to Gatineau. I didn't look at Google Maps closely and assumed it was 4 lane freeway all the way through; but to my surprise it isn't.

Driving the route (a beautiful drive), it is obvious they planned for it to be a full freeway. Most if not all the overpasses were designed to go over 4 lane highway, but only 1 highway was ever built.

What is the story behind this? Did money run out? Was it politics? Or did Ontario get there first, and Quebec decided it wasn't worth it? The 417 route was obviously a lot easier to build, with fewer bridges, fewer mountains to cut through and fewer rivers and valleys to bridge.

In any case, the A-50 route was a great route to drive, with a lot of scenic hills and valleys, and just enough passing lanes that the 2 lane highway wasn't too much of a nightmare to drive on. All of the bridges over nothing (including cases where the bridge is notched into a hill for the future lanes that were never put in. ) are a neat curiousity to see too as you drive along it.
I've driven A-50 twice from Montreal to Gatineau, the first time in early 2014 and again in early 2016. Both times I got stuck behind slow-moving trucks on the two-lane sections, and the operating speed on those sections was around 60-70 km/h. However, if I ever had to travel in that direction again I'd consider it, because the alternate via the 417 in Ontario involves taking city streets in Ottawa, which at times can be very difficult.

I'm not surprised traffic volumes are close to 10,000 in places.
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  #6404  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2017, 4:30 PM
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Canada's first diverging diamond interchange opens in Calgary.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgar...gary-1.4245773

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  #6405  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2017, 3:06 AM
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That type of intersection is definitely needed in Barrie at the interchange on Hwy 400 with Mapleview Drive. I stayed at a hotel just off that interchange and the traffic there was just insane.

The amount of construction along Hwy 400 between Barrie and Vaughan is quite impressive. New overpasses going up and many being replaced for the widening of the highway to five lanes in each direction from the current three. When works gets started within Barrie it should be quite interesting to see how the MTO will handle it.
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  #6406  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2017, 4:40 AM
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One of the two dozen Regina Bypass interchanges will be a Divergent Diamond & is set for construction completion and opening next year.

http://www.reginabypass.ca/project/m...ion=pilotbutte
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  #6407  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2017, 11:51 AM
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I believe MTO is planning a diverging diamond for Mapleview, yes. Still years off, but it's happening.

The 400 is a giant construction zone right now south of the 11 split. Good thing too, it needs it.
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  #6408  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2017, 8:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Loco101 View Post
That type of intersection is definitely needed in Barrie at the interchange on Hwy 400 with Mapleview Drive. I stayed at a hotel just off that interchange and the traffic there was just insane.

The amount of construction along Hwy 400 between Barrie and Vaughan is quite impressive. New overpasses going up and many being replaced for the widening of the highway to five lanes in each direction from the current three. When works gets started within Barrie it should be quite interesting to see how the MTO will handle it.
I just came up that way today and can attest to this. This will be far more comprehensive than when they widened it from 2 to 3 lanes in the 1970s. There are some structures that were built in the late 1940s (!) still in use today.

Within Barrie, I think the MTO has sufficient right-of-way, but I can imagine improvements happening in the geometry of the interchanges. I also don't foresee any improvements north of Bayfield St. as the volume drops significantly there.
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  #6409  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2017, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by wave46 View Post
I just came up that way today and can attest to this. This will be far more comprehensive than when they widened it from 2 to 3 lanes in the 1970s. There are some structures that were built in the late 1940s (!) still in use today.

Within Barrie, I think the MTO has sufficient right-of-way, but I can imagine improvements happening in the geometry of the interchanges. I also don't foresee any improvements north of Bayfield St. as the volume drops significantly there.
The split interchange with Hwys 400 and 11 is much better now and almost complete as far as I can tell. The new flyover is great. I'm assuming that the five lanes in each direction will go right up to that interchange or maybe Bayfield Street. Or now that I think about it, it will likely be 8 lanes (four in each direction) at the Hwy 11 interchange where two lanes will split off each way.

My Father lived in Barrie for some of his childhood and he told me how the same overpasses are still being used today. Just a LOT more traffic going over them! He told me that even way back Hwy 400 would have traffic jams at certain times (often weekends) but it was only two lanes in each direction.

I like how the MTO decided to put the provincial coat of arms on the new overpasses just like the old ones have on each side. Even as someone in Northern Ontario, I actually am okay with the coat of arms.

I'm betting that Hwy 400 will be 10 lanes up to Bayfield Street and 8 lanes until the split interchange with Hwy 11. You're right about traffic dropping off significantly after Bayfield Street. If Oro-Medonte and Orillia grow a lot in the future then we may see 6 lanes on Hwy 11 further North.
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  #6410  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2017, 1:25 AM
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Highway 11 is already hitting figures that require 6 landing, in the low 50,000's AADT.

MTO has plans to upgrade it to 6 lanes and a full freeway with a 100km/h speed limit. It's not imminent, but I could see it happening in the medium term.

The oldest freeway bridges are from the late 1930's, and are on the 401 through Oshawa. I think they are all scheduled to be replaced in the next 5 years though, along with most, if not all of the 1950's bridges on the 400.
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  #6411  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2017, 1:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
Highway 11 is already hitting figures that require 6 landing, in the low 50,000's AADT.

MTO has plans to upgrade it to 6 lanes and a full freeway with a 100km/h speed limit. It's not imminent, but I could see it happening in the medium term.

The oldest freeway bridges are from the late 1930's, and are on the 401 through Oshawa. I think they are all scheduled to be replaced in the next 5 years though, along with most, if not all of the 1950's bridges on the 400.
I think the MTO may slowly be acquiring properties on the right-of-way for 11 between Gravenhurst and Barrie. There is a significant improvement that could be made by upgrading the highway to limited access, especially between Orillia and Barrie.
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  #6412  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2017, 2:29 AM
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I think the MTO may slowly be acquiring properties on the right-of-way for 11 between Gravenhurst and Barrie. There is a significant improvement that could be made by upgrading the highway to limited access, especially between Orillia and Barrie.
I have read about that happening but I really don't know the timeline. It can't be that far away because many of the roadside businesses along that stretch have closed. Gasoline Alley doesn't seem to be anything like it used to be.

The stretch between Barrie and Orillia will be the easiest part to bypass of the non limited access RIRO (right-in and right-out) portions. Once you get North of Orillia the Canadian Shield starts at about the Severn River which is also where the Muskoka Region begins. It is much more expensive to construct new highway there. What will happen to Weber's and other nearby businesses? The MTO will have to come up with a plan to satisfy both drivers and businesses.

I wouldn't be surprised if the RIRO portions of Hwy 11 which exist up to Gravenhurst become some sort of scenic/tourist highway.
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  #6413  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2017, 7:03 PM
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Originally Posted by SaskScraper View Post
One of the two dozen Regina Bypass interchanges will be a Divergent Diamond & is set for construction completion and opening next year.

http://www.reginabypass.ca/project/m...ion=pilotbutte
Calgary just opened one as well (not on the Ring Road), apparently the first one in Canada. Will be interesting to see how it goes over. I have not had the opportunity to use it yet but the idea looks pretty slick.
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  #6414  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2017, 10:46 PM
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Calgary just opened one as well (not on the Ring Road), apparently the first one in Canada. Will be interesting to see how it goes over. I have not had the opportunity to use it yet but the idea looks pretty slick.
Do tell...

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  #6415  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 3:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Loco101 View Post
I have read about that happening but I really don't know the timeline. It can't be that far away because many of the roadside businesses along that stretch have closed. Gasoline Alley doesn't seem to be anything like it used to be.

The stretch between Barrie and Orillia will be the easiest part to bypass of the non limited access RIRO (right-in and right-out) portions. Once you get North of Orillia the Canadian Shield starts at about the Severn River which is also where the Muskoka Region begins. It is much more expensive to construct new highway there. What will happen to Weber's and other nearby businesses? The MTO will have to come up with a plan to satisfy both drivers and businesses.

I wouldn't be surprised if the RIRO portions of Hwy 11 which exist up to Gravenhurst become some sort of scenic/tourist highway.
I was told a few years ago by someone at the MTO that the plan has been to simply widen the existing highway to 6 lanes without any diversions/realignments. That said, there are several areas where I don't think this is practical:

- Guthrie - small community on both sides of the highway, which includes a school

- Orillia to Washago - the highway currently runs close to Lake Couchiching, and there are waterfront properties that are accessed from streets only accessed from the highway (particularly around Cumberland Beach). Weber's is in this area, of course.

I suspect it will end up being like Highway 11 between Huntsville and North Bay - certain built-up areas will get bypassed, but otherwise some things will get torn down. In some cases service roads can be built along the existing highway, where the buildings aren't too close to the road. That's what happened when the QEW was converted from a divided road with driveways on it into a freeway.
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  #6416  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 4:41 PM
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I remember them doing the EA for the part between Orillia and Gravenhurst maybe 5 years ago. It involved mostly widening with expropriations of adjacent parcels and new service roads, with a couple or realignments in a few key areas. The one I specifically remember is the sharp curve at Gravenhurst, which is obviously substandard. MTO has been purchasing required properties whenever they come up for sale and demolishing them, that is why there has been a real reduction in businesses as of late.

Also, there is a ton of under-investment along the corridor as none of the land owners have any certainty in how long they can operate their business before they lose access to the highway. It means everyone just runs their business into the ground and then tries to sell to some unaware buyer or the MTO.

South of Orillia could happen soon as traffic levels are getting quite high through that stretch. North of Orillia, not so much. MTO is doing a bunch of bridge rehabilitations along that stretch right now, you can tell they aren't planning it any time soon. The highway only has around 25,000 AADT through there, less than half of what is needed to require 6 laning (Although the current substandard state of the highway may justify the widening sooner than a typical 4 lane freeway).
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  #6417  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2017, 2:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Loco101 View Post
I have read about that happening but I really don't know the timeline. It can't be that far away because many of the roadside businesses along that stretch have closed. Gasoline Alley doesn't seem to be anything like it used to be.

The stretch between Barrie and Orillia will be the easiest part to bypass of the non limited access RIRO (right-in and right-out) portions. Once you get North of Orillia the Canadian Shield starts at about the Severn River which is also where the Muskoka Region begins. It is much more expensive to construct new highway there. What will happen to Weber's and other nearby businesses? The MTO will have to come up with a plan to satisfy both drivers and businesses.

I wouldn't be surprised if the RIRO portions of Hwy 11 which exist up to Gravenhurst become some sort of scenic/tourist highway.
That section definitely needs to be upgraded to a full freeway, but 6 lanes (at this time) is probably overkill - a 4-lane freeway is sufficient from Orillia to Gravenhurst. It does need to be 6 for sure up to Orillia though.
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  #6418  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2017, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by eternallyme View Post
That section definitely needs to be upgraded to a full freeway, but 6 lanes (at this time) is probably overkill - a 4-lane freeway is sufficient from Orillia to Gravenhurst. It does need to be 6 for sure up to Orillia though.
Once 400 is upgraded to 8-10 lanes to the split, 400 and 11 will need to be upgraded to handle the load.

Basically both need it to at least 12.
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  #6419  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2017, 9:49 PM
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The Wynne government in Ontario announced the building of two new roads to reach the "Ring of Fire" region in the far north, including a road from around Nakina north to Marten Falls, and from north of Pickle Lake to Webequie.

What isn't clear is whether these roads will be owned by the First Nations communities they will be serving, or whether these will be provincial highways funded by provincial taxpayers.

If they are provincial highways, these could theoretically be extensions of Highway 584 and Highway 599, respectively.
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  #6420  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2017, 10:02 PM
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The Wynne government in Ontario announced the building of two new roads to reach the "Ring of Fire" region in the far north, including a road from around Nakina north to Marten Falls, and from north of Pickle Lake to Webequie.

What isn't clear is whether these roads will be owned by the First Nations communities they will be serving, or whether these will be provincial highways funded by provincial taxpayers.

If they are provincial highways, these could theoretically be extensions of Highway 584 and Highway 599, respectively.
OK, hold your breath.....

At the pace of road construction in the north, it'll take more than 2 decades till they are done.
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